Welcome to the Colposcopy Service, here you will find information that we hope will help if you have been referred to the Colposcopy clinic.
Where to find us
The Colposcopy clinic is held in the Women’s and Children's Outpatient Department in the east wing of the hospital. A hospital welcomer will be pleased to direct you to the area if required.
Colposcopy clinic team
The team consist of a lead Consultant, an Associate Specialist Doctor, two nurses from the Gynaecological Ward (Ward 4) and a secretary dedicated to the service.
Secretarial office hours
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 12.30pm
Telephone: +44 1624 650334
An answer machine is available outside of office hours.
Mondays - AM clinic/alternate weeks
Tuesdays – all day clinic/weekly apart from one week
We will contact you by text message as a reminder of your appointment closer to the date.
Reason for referral
A cervical screening test is a procedure that checks to see whether the cells in your cervix (the neck of your womb) are healthy. Sometimes, the cells in this part of your body can start to change and become abnormal.
Abnormal test results are relatively common. It is important that abnormal results are investigated to make sure that conditions, which lead to cervical cancer, can be either ruled out, or treated, as soon as possible.
Sometimes a colposcopy is carried out in order to investigate a problem or condition other than an abnormal cervical screening test.
You are most likely to have been referred to the colposcopy clinic if you have had one or more abnormal smear tests. If your smear result is abnormal you will receive a letter from the cervical screening service and an appointment date will be sent within 2 weeks from the colposcopy service. The waiting time for your appointment will depend on the degree of abnormality reported.
Colposcopy is the name given to the examination that allows the doctor to make a close inspection of the cervix (neck of womb) using a special type of microscope called a colposcope.
When at the clinic
You do not need to be accompanied, however if you wish to bring your partner or friend, they are welcome to sit in the waiting area to wait for you. You will not receive any medication that will affect your ability to drive, operate machinery or drink alcohol.
You will be seen with only the doctor and Nurse present. Firstly the doctor will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions. You will then be asked to lie on a couch with your legs resting comfortably in supports. Some women find it easier to wear a loose fitting skirt or dress as you do not need to remove all of your clothes, only underclothes.
It is basically a painless examination, rather like when you had you smear taken. Some women do feel slight discomfort if a small biopsy is taken, this usually passes very quickly.
The examination takes approximately 10 minutes to perform, after which you will be able to return home or to work.
Abnormal smear result
An abnormal smear result usually means that minor changes exist in the cells of the cervix, these are called dyskaryosis or dyskaryotic cells. Some abnormal smears show borderline or low grade change dyskaryosis, these are small changes that may return to normal. For some women their result will show high grade dyskaryosis, it is unlikely that this is cancer, however, these changes are less likely to return to normal by themselves, and usually need treatment.
If on examination the doctor finds high grade changes they will treat you on your first visit. When there is low grade change this usually resolves by itself and the doctor will arrange a follow up smear in one year.
The local anaesthetic, this will wear off after some time and you may experience some period type pain, this is normal. It will probably help to take some pain relieving tablets. You may also experience some slight bleeding for a few days or even weeks however, this should not be heavier than your normal period. If you have heavy vaginal bleeding or severe discomfort you should contact your GP for advice. You should not use internal tampons or have sexual intercourse for approximately 4 weeks following treatment. It is advisable not to do strenuous exercise for the first week, such as sport, swimming, aerobics etc. You may bath and shower as usual. You will have a follow up smear, in the community, in six months’ time.
If you have any further questions, you can contact the Colposcopy Secretary on +44 1624 650334